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Austria, France, and Italy to express concerns about cultivated meat with EU

Austria, France, and Italy to express concerns about cultivated meat with EU meat, meat alternatives, Policy Food and Beverage Business

Austrian, French, and Italian delegations are set to oppose cultivated meat production at the upcoming meeting of EU agriculture ministers next week, citing concerns about its impact on primary farm-based approaches. In a letter to the Council of Ministers, the countries described the industry as “a threat to primary farm-based approaches” that endangers “genuine food production methods that are the very heart of the European farming model.”

The delegations highlighted the lack of EU authorization for animal products based on cell cultivation techniques, emphasizing the need for a transparent, science-based, and comprehensive approach to assess the development of artificial cell-based meat production.

Czechia, Cyprus, Hungary, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia have also supported the argument against cultivated meat production, presenting a united front on the issue.

The note further argues that cultivated food production raises many questions that need thorough discussion among Member States, the Commission, stakeholders, and the general public before it can be considered a viable method for producing food. The concerns raised include ensuring the safety of lab-grown meat, preventing monopolies or oligopolies on the food market, as well as evaluating the real carbon footprint and animal welfare standards of cultivated meat production.

Amid the opposition, Alex Holst, a senior policy manager from the Good Food Institute Europe, expressed concerns about the spread of misinformation and the undermining of Europe’s world-leading regulatory system by the non-binding statement from the delegations.

In an interview with European news site Euractiv, a diplomat emphasized that the action against cultivated meat is “highly exaggerated and premature,” stating that it hinders the innovation necessary for sustainability.

The note marks a new push against cultivated meat, particularly from Italy, which had previously approved a ban on the manufacture, sale, and import of cultivated meat. While the ban has been accepted by the national Chamber of Deputies, it still requires the final blessing from the EU.

Notably, Singapore, the US, and Israel are the only countries worldwide to have approved the production of cultivated meat so far, with Israel joining the list after granting approval for a cultivated beef product.

The content emphasizes the need for thorough discourse and regulatory evaluation of cultivated meat production, urging stakeholders to consider the industry’s potential impact and implications.

Additionally, the content calls for further discussions surrounding the safety, market impact, and environmental implications of lab-grown meats.

Ultimately, the content presents a comprehensive overview of the current opposition to cultivated meat production and underscores the need for robust deliberation and evaluation before any authorization can be granted.

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